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Publishers Weekly, 1998-07-27 Forgotten in a trunk for six decades and uncovered by actress Sharon Stone, who flirted with the idea of producing it, this sentimental screen story, or novella, revisits the 1920s with a nostalgic eye. Gentle, simple-souled Jacob Erickson works on a ranch in the Mojave desert as a semi-magical healer of sick and injured animals. When Sharon, the boss's crippled but stage-struck daughter, asks shyly adoring Jacob to heal her, too, he obliges and she flees the ranch. Eighteen months later, they meet again in L.A.: he's a workman, healing children who are brought to him at a small church; she works in a burlesque theaterŠthe reality pit stop of her stage dreams. Seeing money in Jacob's powers, the theater's unscrupulous managers blackmail Sharon into convincing Jacob to go into the healing business with them. Sharon and Jacob should go back to the clean pure desert and do some good, but they are trapped by Jacob's compassion for one of his patients, Earl Medwin, the chronically ill heir to a vast fortune, and by Sharon's final surrender to temptationŠEarl's assiduous attentions and all that money. Written in the present tense, occasionally in summary paragraphs that seem to be standing in for dialogue, Huxley's and Isherwood's collaboration makes even Forrest Gump (which it resembles much more closely than, say, Isherwood's Cabaret-inspiring The Berlin Stories or Huxley's Brave New World) look morally complex. Even so, it exposes a strong spine of dramatic conflict and a definite period charm. Agent, Dorris Halsey; film rights to Arthur Axelman, Rialto Films and Dorothea Petrie. (Sept.) FYI: The book's jacket will feature an illustration by Don Bacardi, who was Isherwood's lover.
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